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The Assembly Minority Conference

Giving Blood Supports Our Neighbors & Our Communities

Column from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay

One of the most rewarding things about public service is the opportunity to participate in events directly impacting my community. One such event is the American Red Cross blood drive I am sponsoring alongside City of Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow. This event is not only a critically important way to support area hospitals, but it is also a great opportunity to draw people from all over the community together toward a common end: taking care of one another.

The upcoming drive will be held on Friday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Roy C. McCrobie Building at 41 Lake Street, Oswego. The need for blood never goes away, and by leveraging every opportunity to bolster existing reserves we move one step closer to meeting the ever-growing demand for the life-saving resource.

According to information from the Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs platelets or blood every two seconds. In real terms, an average red blood cell transfusion requires around three units of blood and a single victim in a car accident might need as much as 100 units of blood. Overall, a staggering 29,000 red blood cell units are required each day, so every donation is valuable. 

Eligible donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be 16- to 75-years-old (16-year-olds must have parental permission, age 76 and over need a doctor’s note), and cannot have received a tattoo within the past year. Donors are encouraged to eat and be well hydrated prior to giving blood.

The Red Cross is an incredible organization with a long history of serving our state and our nation in times of need. Its work during natural disasters, times of crisis and in response to individuals in need has been exemplary. If possible, I encourage anyone able to support them in their work. Without the army of volunteers they have and the donations from generous New Yorkers who participate in drives throughout each year, they would not be able to accomplish the great work they do.

To schedule an appointment to give blood, please call my district office at 315-598-5185, email us or sign up at the Red Cross at their Web site to select an appointment time. Every donation helps, and there is no better time to make a contribution than now. I hope to see you all in a few weeks!